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Several killed amid firing by Taliban and stampede during rally in Afghan city: witness

i24NEWS - Reuters

clock 2 min read

Taliban fighters pose for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 19, 2021.
AP Photo/Rahmat GulTaliban fighters pose for a photograph in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 19, 2021.

Unclear if casualties came from gunfire or from stampede it triggered

Several people were killed on Thursday in the Afghan city of Asadabad when Taliban fighters fired on people waving the national flag at an Independence Day rally, a witness said.

It was not clear if the casualties came from the firing or from a stampede it triggered, witness Mohammed Salim said from the eastern city, the capital of Kunar province.

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A Taliban spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Afghans across the country on Thursday were gathering to celebrate Afghan Independence Day which commemorates the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 that ended British rule in the central Asian nation.

Taliban violence also took place a day earlier when at least three people were killed and more than a dozen wounded after Taliban militants opened fire during protests against the group in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad.

Dozens of people gathered in the capital of Nangarhar province to raise the national flag a day ahead of Afghanistan's Independence Day. 

Jalalabad is where annual independence day celebrations in Afghanistan traditionally take place.

The demonstrators reportedly removed a black-on-white Taliban flag with an Islamic inscription and replaced it with the black, red and green national flag of Afghanistan.